Travelling classroom – Global Design & Media CoSpace

Travelling classroom on shooting day © Hochschulkommunikation | Hochschule RheinMain

Travelling classroom group photo © Hochschulkommunikation | Hochschule RheinMain

Set preparations before filming © Hochschulkommunikation | Hochschule RheinMain

Shooting a new interpretation of the pill scene from Matrix © Hochschulkommunikation | Hochschule RheinMain

Following a successful travelling classroom with the University Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) in June of this year, five students and an instructor from Norway’s Volda University College made their way to Hochschule RheinMain (HSRM; RheinMain University of Applied Sciences) in the last week of October. The Norwegian university is a long-standing partner of RheinMain University of Applied Sciences. The collaboration includes a double master's degree. Professor Claudia Aymar, project manager and program head of the bachelor's degree program Media: Conception & Production at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, initiated the traveling classroom at HSRM as part of the international Global Design & Media CoSpace project

Reinterpreting a scene from the Matrix movie

The task for the week was to create a remake of a movie scene. The goal was to reinterpret, stage and realize the “Red Pill or Blue Pill”scene from Matrix. In the scene, the character Neo has to choose between swallowing a blue or a red pill. If he takes the blue pill, he returns to his ideal world, which is not reality. The red pill has exactly the opposite effect and frees him from the simulation. The scene is a metaphor for the fact that we are always faced with choices in life that we have to make. What are the decisions that our younger generation is facing today? What are the priorities? What are the options? The Norwegian student group defined their own interpretation of the question in a joint discussion and then realized it with the Media: Conception & Production students from HSRM. Before filming, the students attended workshops on lighting and camera techniques to prepare for the shoot. The students took on various roles on the set and thus got to know the different areas of responsibility in scenic film production. Before the students from Volda arrived, they presented their ideas on how they would like to reinterpret the scene to everyone involved in a digital meeting. 

Film production at Unter den Eichen Campus

The entire production of the scene remake took place at the large video studio on the Unter den Eichen Campus. After the guests from Volda arrived on Monday, they met all project participants personally over dinner after a tour of Wiesbaden. The final preparations such as set design, lighting and rehearsals with the actors took place on Tuesday. The actual day of filming followed on Wednesday. A visit to the Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum (German Film Institute and Museum) in Frankfurt am Main was on the agenda on Thursday. The final post-production took place on Friday. As a grand finale, the Norwegian guests will attend the 10th anniversary celebration of the Media: Conception & Production at the Caligari FilmBühne, where they enjoyed the program’s best-of films.

Proben (22), a media production student at Volda University College, was delighted with his stay at HSRM: “We created something really great together. We were given a very warm welcome here and were very well supported by the HSRM students during the production of the film.” Jenny (22), another media production student at Volda University College, said: “It was really fun to participate in the traveling classroom. It was a great experience to work in a large team.”

Promoting interest in a semester abroad 

The Media: Conception & Production program is establishing traveling classrooms in the hopes to get more students of partner universities interested in spending a semester abroad at HSRM. The joint international learning spaces also offer a great opportunity for students and instructors to network professionally and establish further collaborations and exciting projects. The next traveling classroom at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences is already planned for November, with students from the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna. In spring 2024, students of the master’s program Creative Media Conception will set off for a traveling classroom in the USA. The students will get scholarships from the Global Design & Media CoSpace project to cover the travel costs of the traveling classroom. 

Global Design & Media CoSpace

The Global Design & Media CoSpace project, launched in 2021, promotes the internationalization of the degree programs Media: Conception & Production and Creative Media Conception. The project includes lectures and courses, joint projects, increased mobility, double degrees and developing a cross-university course offer in languages and intercultural skills. The project aims at further strengthening the global competitiveness of universities through international collaboration and to better prepare students for the international job market of the future. The project is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as part of the HAW.International program. The four participating partner universities of Hochschule RheinMain are Volda University College (Norway), the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna (Austria), the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) (Thailand) and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) (USA).